December 27, 2013 | Opinion
THE TRAGEDY OF THE OBASANJO FAMILY
This truism has in recent times come to the minds of the Nigerian people in much bolder relief following the open letter by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo to President Goodluck Jonathan The letter has continued to generate public reactions Senator Iyabo Obasanjo's reaction to the 18-page letter written by his father in which he accused the Jonathan administration of major lapses in the handling of the affairs of this country would validate the axiom Although Obasanjo had the privilege of ruling Nigeria three times, first as a Military Head of State (1976-1979) and then twice as a democratically elected President (1999-2003) (2003-2007), his role as a family man has been called to question by his daughter Her 11-page letter, dated 16th December, 2013, and published in the Vanguard of 18th December, is an indictment of her father whom she describes as morally bankrupt, 'a liar and manipulator', undeserving of respect as a father Iyabo's indictment of her father is a combination of acts of immorality and corruption, some bordering on plain criminality, a reminder of what one of Obasanjo's wives, Oluremi, had written in her book, 'Bitter Sweet: My Life With Obasanjo ' According to Oluremi, Obasanjo is 'a master of the art of deceptionself-opinionateddoes not forgive nor does he forgetand can be an exploiter ' In the same book, Oluremi also claimed that her husband had extra-marital affairs with many women, categorically mentioning the case of Mrs Ayoka Olusola Adebayo, who was the Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC in Ekiti State The most repulsive of Obasanjo's acts of moral turpitude, within the family, was his involvement in the abomination of an incestuous affair with Mojisola, the wife of his own eldest son, Dr Gbenga Obasanjo As a consequence of Obasanjo's affair with his daughter-in-law, the 9-year old marriage to the son was dissolved (Vanguard, 24 January, 2009) These acts of moral insensitivity fit very well with Iyabo's description of Obasanjo as a wife batterer who, in the presence of the children, was 'beating up' their mother 'continually ' And, what could be more insensitive than a father who does not know the number of children he has, nor bother to make contact with them? Iyabo was able to cite numerous instances of Obasanjo's neglect of his wives and children, who had to live like pampers, even when he was Head of State Furthermore, as a post-graduate student in the United States, Iyabo, herself, had to work in the kitchen and library to make ends meet An important point that runs through Iyabo's letter is that Obasanjo does something for a member of the family only if that thing would bring benefits to him For instance, Iyabo is emphatic in saying that the only reason Obasanjo helped her to go to the Senate was to raise his own political profile She is also categorical that it is for the same reason that her father suggested recently that she should prepare to return to the Senate on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) According to Iyabo, Obasanjo would want to use her or any of the children so that he could remain politically relevant For Obasanjo, the family is like a tool to be exploited for his own personal benefits It is easy to extrapolate from this altitude to the wider society Any political leader who exploits members of his family should not be expected to treat the citizery in a different way Not surprisingly, friends, colleagues and political associates are perceived by Obasanjo as tools to be used and dumped This is the correlation that Iyabo's letter has sought to emphasize in the interest of Nigerians No doubt, Obasanjo has been a failure on the home front From all indications, and judging from Iyabo's letter, the Obasanjo family is bereft of values and that is their tragedy The good thing about Iyabo's letter is that it has exposed Obasanjo from within the family; and, that is what makes it a credible source Nigeria should count herself lucky to have survived being ruled by a man whose state of mind is doubtful It is most unlikely that there are many Nigerian who know Obasanjo as much as members of his family And, among the family members, none other than Dr Iyabo Obasanjo, Doctor of veterinary Medicine, Doctor of philosophy, could have done a thorough study of 'This Animal called Man ' Written By Mustapha Abdullahi [email protected] com
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